May 5, 2022•402 words
The role of art in developing empathy for people and groups who live lives that are different to your own.
Dear Members of the Board, this is my proposal supporting the role of art in developing empathy for people and groups who live lives that may be different. I will be talking about the significance of self expression and raising awareness through art in order to develop empathy.
It may be argued that art can lead to the exposure of excessive violence to younger audiences. On streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video, everybody has access to many different genres of art. If not monitored properly, young children can view entertainments that are not suitable for their age group. For example, many people watched the highly popular television series "Squid Game", including children as young as 9 years old. A show with as much tragedy and violence as Squid Game can have long lasting effects on the mental health of children which would in turn not develop empathy.
However, it is also important for children to have full exposure of the good and bad of life while they are still within the safety of their guardians. If children are not exposed to shows such as Squid Game, when they do go out into the real world, they will have no experience with reality and will likely struggle. Many forms of art aid in raising awareness of important topics. For example, the 2017 movie, "Five Feet Apart", spreads awareness on the disease cystic fibrosis which can help people empathise with people suffering with it. Art, especially through mainstream media, is the most effective way to spread awareness in the 21st century.
Secondly, art in all its forms requires self expression. According to Dr. Kimberly Harrington Delgado, self expression is the gateway to developing autonomy and a healthy sense of self. As a result, when everyone is able to express themselves and are mentally healthier, communities can be brought together and people are able to relate to one another more. This relatability can help with the development of empathy since it is easier to empathise with people and groups that you can relate to.
Therefore, I believe that art is incredibly important in our everyday lives not only to raise awareness but to encourage self expression. All of this will in turn help develop empathy and create a more nurturing and accepting world.